FISCAL NOTES 2013 LEGISLATIVE SESSION Becka Johnson

Report
Fiscal Notes Review
2015 Legislative Session
Becka Johnson Poppe
January 7, 2015
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WHAT IS A FISCAL NOTE?
A fiscal note is an objective estimate of a bill’s fiscal impact.
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
Provides a 6-year projection of impact

Describes least expensive way to reasonably implement
the bill

Is always tied to a specific version of a bill

Helps legislators evaluate a bill’s costs and merits

Informs legislative staff, journalists, lobbyists, and others
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT FISCAL NOTES?
Fiscal notes inform legislative decisions that impact the UW

We need to be responsive and accurate
The tricky part is…

We have less than 72 hours to respond

Fiscal notes cover a huge variety of topics
We need your help to quickly prepare accurate fiscal notes.
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FISCAL NOTE PROCESS OVERVIEW
< 72 Hours
OPB receives FN request from OFM
OPB adds FN to Bill Tracker and notifies assessors
Assessors prepare FN response in Bill Tracker
OPB reviews FN for accuracy and completeness
OPB adds FN to OFM’s system and submits it
Occasionally OFM sends a revision request
OFM distributes the final FN to legislators
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FISCAL NOTE PROCESS OVERVIEW
< 72 Hours
OPB receives FN request from OFM
OPB adds FN to BillTracker and notifies assessors
Assessors prepare FN response in BillTracker
OPB reviews FN for accuracy and completeness
OPB adds FN to OFM’s system and submits it
Occasionally OFM sends a revision request
OFM distributes the final FN to legislators
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Responding to a Fiscal Note Request
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HOW TO RESPOND TO A FISCAL NOTE REQUEST
1.
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Check the due date and time in the email notification
HOW TO RESPOND TO A FISCAL NOTE REQUEST
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1.
Check the due date and time in the email notification
2.
Read the bill
3.
Review relevant laws and budgets (as needed)
4.
Coordinate your response with others (as needed)
5.
In Bill Tracker, describe the bill’s fiscal impact using all
relevant narratives and tables
ELEMENTS OF A FISCAL NOTE

Summary: overview of how the bill impacts the UW
Four types of impact that may be relevant…
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
Cash Receipts: the bill’s estimated impact on the UW’s
cash receipts (taxes & fees)

Expenditures: expenditures necessary to implement the
bill, including all assumptions

FTEs: list of additional staff time FTEs (by job title and
annual salary) required to implement the legislation

Capital: acquisition and construction costs not reflected
elsewhere and describes potential financing
FTE - EXAMPLE
Job Title, Full-time Salary
FY16
Wizard, $200,000
TOTAL
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FY17
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
FY18
FY19
FY20
FY21
FTE - EXAMPLE
Job Title, Full-time Salary
FY16
Wizard, $200,000
0.5
0.5
Ring Bearer, $90,000
1.0
1.0
1.5
1.5
TOTAL
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FY17
FY18
FY19
FY20
FY21
FTE - EXAMPLE
Job Title, Full-time Salary
FY16
FY18
Wizard, $200,000
0.5
0.5
Ring Bearer, $90,000
1.0
1.0
Project Manager, $80,000
0.1
0.1
0.1
1.6
1.6
0.1
TOTAL
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FY17
FY19
FY20

Full-time salary (not including benefits)

Number of FTE required for that job title/salary
FY21
RESOURCES: POP-UP WINDOWS
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RESOURCES: POP-UP WINDOWS
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RESOURCES: FISCAL NOTE EXAMPLE
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HOW TO RESPOND TO A FISCAL NOTE REQUEST
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1.
Check the due date and time in the email notification
2.
Read the bill
3.
Review relevant laws and budgets (as needed)
4.
Coordinate your response with others (as needed)
5.
In Bill Tracker, describe the bill’s fiscal impact using all
relevant narratives and tables
6.
To save and return later, hit “Submit Feedback” (every 3hrs)
7.
When finished, check “this is my final response” and hit
“Submit Feedback”
WHEN THE FISCAL IMPACT IS INDETERMINATE

If there are too many unknowns to make a reasonable
estimate, you can say impact is “indeterminate”

However, we must still:
•
•
Explain why the impact is indeterminate
Give a rough estimate of the fiscal impact (either “Less than
$50,000 per fiscal year” or “Greater than $50,000 per fiscal year”)
•
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Provide a range of scenarios that provide a sense of scale,
indicate which scenario is most likely
WHEN COST IS SMALL AND CAN BE ABSORBED

In such cases, we can cite ‘no fiscal impact,’

However, we must still:
•
•
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Provide information about the scale of the costs
Explain what existing activities/efforts might be displaced
in order to accommodate the legislation
WHEN YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT A BILL
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
A fiscal note must be objective, so please communicate
your opinions separately

Reminder: Fiscal assessments must take priority over
general assessments
TIPS AND REMINDERS
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
Write for a general audience, avoid jargon

Only report the incremental impact of the bill

Report current dollars, don’t build in inflation

Identify costs/receipts as one-time or on-going

Identify and explain ALL assumptions

Use realistic implementation dates and account for them

Separate cost of benefits from cost of salaries

In the FTE section, report the number of FTE needed

Respond! please 
ADDITIONAL FISCAL NOTE RESOURCES
OFM’s 2014 Fiscal Note Instructions: http://ofm.wa.gov/budget/
instructions/other/agencyfiscalnoteinstructions.pdf
OFM’s Fund Look-up: http://www.ofm.wa.gov/fund/
OFM’s Fiscal Note Look-up: https://fortress.wa.gov/ofm/fnspublic/
WA Legislature Home (bill and law search): www.leg.wa.gov
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FISCAL NOTE ASSISTANCE
Becka Johnson
[email protected] (206) 616-7203
Miranda Leidich
[email protected] (206) 685-7449
Sharyl Morris
[email protected](206) 543-4679
If you don’t know who your fiscal note analyst is, or if you
have general questions, contact Becka.
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Questions?
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